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American Novelists Dominate Booker's Shortlist 2021

American Novelists Dominate Booker's Shortlist 2021

Friday, 17 September, 2021 - 06:30
A woman reads a book in a bookstore in Beijing on Nov. 7, 2017. GREG BAKER/AFP

The Booker Prize was limited to participants from the British Commonwealth and Ireland, but as of 2014, it expanded its geographic circle to include the United States. Since then, many British critics and novelists have been concerned from the domination of American writers, which actually happened, at least in this edition. Announced on Tuesday, the Booker Prize Shortlist includes three American novelists out of six, and one British-Somali novelist, Nadifa Mohamed.

Obviously, the jury prepared itself for the rage over the selection. Historian Maya Jasanoff, head of the jury, said each book was assessed based on its merit and the final decision was taken objectively. Jury Member novelist Chigozie Obioma said they didn't consider the origin of the book because the content and how the writer expresses his vision are the factors that really matter. The origin of the book doesn't mean anything, and the absence of more British novelists from the list is no more than a coincidence, he added.

The only British nominee Nadifa Mohamed inspired her novel "The Fortune Men" from a real story revolving around a man who was falsely convicted in killing a store owner in Wales. The novel's sales boomed since it was featured on Booker's longlist. The three American novelists are: Patricia Lockwood for her first novel "No One is Talking about This," which revolves around a woman known for her abundant tweets and lives a real tragedy; Maggie Shipstead for her novel "Great Circle," about a missing female pilot; and Richard Powers for his novel "The Overstory."

The fifth nominee is South African writer Damon Galgut for his novel "The Promise," which tells the story of a white woman who promised to leave her house, located in her family's farm, to the house's black made, but the promise was not fulfilled. The last nominee is Anuk Arudpragasam for his novel "A Passage North," which explores the story of a young Tamil man who travels from Colombo to the North to attend his grandmother's funeral.

The winner will be announced in a ceremony in London on November 3.

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